BERE REGIS 126-2 (20pts) beat WEYMOUTH 125 (3pts) by eight wickets

WEYMOUTH suffered a final-day relegation to County Division Two after an eight-wicket thrashing at the hands of Division One champions Bere Regis.

Needing a win to guarantee their survival, Weymouth were bowled out for 125 on a good surface, allowing Bere to knock off the runs with 21.3 overs left.

Defeat left the Seasiders completely reliant on Wimborne & Colehill Seconds beating Poole Town Seconds, but Poole ran riot with a gigantic 213-run success to force Weymouth down a division.

Poole had strengthened their line-up with a host of first-team players, Badrul Alam (100) and Lewis Marais (112) each hitting centuries in a demolition of bottom side Wimborne.

At Bere, Weymouth’s gameplan was to put runs on the board and defend them with slow bowling, but after winning the toss and batting first, their plan was shot by an early collapse to 46-5.

Despite a battling unbeaten 65 from Kieron Womble, Weymouth never recovered and only Dave Blackman (23) joined him in double figures, the duo putting on 51 for the sixth wicket.

Weymouth’s total was never going to be enough and Bere’s Rob Cole (62) made light work of the target before Tim Goodhew (12no) smacked two sixes to complete the visitors’ demise.

Speaking to Echosport after the game, stand-in captain Paul Payne admitted his side were “outplayed”.

He said: “We were outplayed, there’s no two ways about it. They were much the better side, you can’t make excuses for it.

“We were in with a chance of survival but we weren’t good enough, as we’ve not been most of the season. Availability is a big issue for us. We have got the talent.

“We proved at the start of the season with 11 players out we were playing some good cricket, getting some good results.

“Unfortunately the second half of the season we lost a few key players, we’re making four or five changes every week and it’s very hard to win games of cricket with that situation.”

And Payne, who in his early years as a player was used to Premier League cricket, conceded relegation was “hard to take”.

He said: “For a senior player like myself it’s hard to take. Growing up in a side that was always competing for the Premier League title, it’s hard.

“But we have to take the positives out of it. We have got a couple of good youngsters coming through. It is gutting but we have to look at the bigger picture.”